An Etihad Airways commercial flight flew its first direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Israel, landing at Ben Gurion Tuesday night with 14 tons of medical equipment for helping the Palestinians combat the coronavirus. The oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE), prepared early to combat the pandemic, controlling infection among its nine million population, much like Israel, and keeping it down to 23,358 cases and 220 deaths.
For several months, Israel and the UAE have been meeting secretly for talks arranged by the US to share information and coordinate their efforts to counter the increasing threat posed by Iran. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the Emirates was one of three Gulf states to announce willingness to work with Israel in combating the pandemic, specifically on a vaccine. Bahrain has sought to learn from the Sheba Medical Center how the hospital responded to the coronavirus assault.